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At the heart of the Maracay-St. Cloud Partnership are the people of GOD within both dioceses. 

People-to-People exchanges, therefore, are essential for building up the relationship of our two churches, and truly encountering the face of Christ in one another’s diocese.  About 45 delegates from St. Cloud have spent a 10-day period in Maracay, experiencing parish life and learning about life in Venezuela. About 39 Venezuelans have spent a similar period in St. Cloud, experiencing parish life and learning about life in Minnesota. In addition, two long-term missioners from Maracay have lived and served in our diocese over the last several years of our partnership. Our Partnership travel is set-up on a 3-year cycle: we travel there one year, they travel here the next, and we postpone travel the following for a year of implementation to work on mutually-defined goals and projects; and then we begin the cycle again.

Delegations travel to our partner diocese of Maracay, Venezuela every-third year. If you are interested in being a part of one of these trips, contact the Mission Office to put your name on a list of those interested. Information will be sent out to you about 9 months prior to the travel dates, and you will be asked to fill out a simple “application” before delegation selections occur. All delegates are required to attend 4 orientation sessions and 2 follow-up sessions in addition to the travel dates; please be prepared to commit to these at the time you apply.

We also have delegations visiting us in the St. Cloud Diocese every-third year (on opposite years as we travel to them). These groups are always in need of helpful energetic people from our Diocese to host delegates, to help with transportation and event facilitation and to interact with them during their time here. If any of this is of interest to you, please contact us at the mission office.


maracay_singing2012Upcoming delegations

We regret that we are unable to schedule any delegations to travel to Maracay, Venezuela at this time, due to safety and logistic concerns surrounding the current economic situation in Venezuela.  We do not have a determined time frame for rescheduling travel; please check back or contact the Mission Office if you are interested a delegation when we are able to make the journey again at a time that will be safer for both delegates and our hosts.  Meanwhile, please join in praying for the people of Venezuela, and for peace and prosperity throughout our world!
Similarly, delegations from Maracay to Minnesota are on hold until an undetermined time.  When we are able to welcome our friends from Venezuela again, hosts and transportation and event assistance will be needed, so begin thinking now about how you might be involved and let the Mission Office know that you’re interested.

Delegation History

Here is a bit of history on the partnership’s travels thus far, including links to reflections and photo highlights for some of these exchanges:

  1. maracay_twins_game2012The St. Cloud Diocese welcomed two delegations from Maracay in the Fall-2012 (PDF) (4 delegates in September, and two in October).  Though small and divided into two travel groups due to visa problems, the delegates all had a wonderful time, as did their host families and parishes!
  2. Ten delegates from throughout the diocese, ranging from 15 to 70-some years old, traveled to Maracay in February of 2011.
  3. Fr. Freddimir journeyed to Minnesota in September 2010, to begin his five-year stay in our diocese as a missioner to us.  Fr. Freddimir completed a period of acculturation, including intensive language studies at St. Cloud State University, before being assigned to ministry by Bishop Kinney and the Personnel Board beginning in July of 2011.
  4. Two delegations, of 3 people each, visited St. Cloud Diocese in the Fall of 2009 from Maracay, Venezuela. These delegations included Bishop Rafael Conde, two priests, a lay man and two lay women.
  5. A delegation of 12 youth and adults from our diocese returned from a 10 day pilgrimage to our partner diocese of Maracay, Venezuela in June-2008 (PDF). Be sure to invite them to your parish, school or group to share about their experiences of mission in Maracay!
  6. A delegation from our partner Diocese of Maracay, Venezuela visited us here in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota in mid-October 2006. The delegation was comprised of 6 people from priests to laity, permanent deacon to journalist, teacher of children’s catechism to teacher of teachers. This varied group brought MANY gifts to us!
  7. Summer of 2005 Fr. José Gregorio Bracamonte journeyed to the St. Cloud Diocese to be in mission to us. He will be living and ministering in the diocese for 5 years, and is currently serving as the Diocesan Hispanic Minister.
  8. maracay_fred_dance2008In July-2005 (PDF) several members of the St. Cloud Diocese traveled to Maracay for 2 weeks to experience prayer and liturgy, family life and ministry in their diocese. Although other groups had traveled to Maracay, and previous delegations had come from Maracay to our diocese, this was the first “official” full St. Cloud diocesan delegation!
  9. There was a delegation of our brothers and sisters from Maracay to St. Cloud in October of 2004.
  10. A delegation also traveled to Maracay in Summer of 2003. This delegation included Bishop Kinney, then-Mission Office staff member Rosanne Fischer, St. Cloud Visitor editor Joe Towalski, and founding member Fr. Jim Minette.
  11. In addition to these various diocesan delegations, specific Sister Parish delegations have also traveled from St. Ann’s Parish in Brandon within the St. Cloud Diocese to Immaculate Conception Parish in Barbacoas within Maracay. These delegations have traveled in January-2004 (PDF) & January 2005.

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To see more photos and videos from past delegations, visit the Friends of Maracay share site!